God said, “Look, here is a place right beside me. Put yourself on this rock. When my Glory passes by, I’ll put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with my hand until I’ve passed by. Then I’ll take my hand away and you’ll see my back. But you won’t see my face.” Exodus 33:21-23 The Message
I cannot recall the first time the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see the power and blessings that can come from our wounds.
I just remember it was one of those watershed moments in my journey with Jesus.
It went something like this.
I was having one of those ordinary devotions.
You know the ones I mean.
I was reading the words I had read a number of times before, not expecting anything special, when suddenly I saw something new.
It was from the passage above where Moses asks to “see” God’s glory, and God agrees, so He places Moses in the cleft of a rock for protection.
Suddenly I Saw…
In my minds eye, I didn’t see Moses, I saw Jesus hanging on His cross.
I saw the horrible wound in His side where the Roman soldier had pierced Him.
Suddenly, the words “cleft of the rock” became, “cleft of the Rock.”
And, I saw how we too, can hide ourselves “in Christ”–all of our pain, all of our past, all of our brokenness–placed in the cleft of Him, who died so that we can be healed.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.Isaiah 53
Let there be light
It is sad to me that there is a large contingent of believers in the Church, who still believe that wounded is bad, and scars are shameful, and should be hidden away.
I have some terrible scars.
Up until that day, I had always kept them well hidden. But we know that nothing is hidden from God, correct?
While we may not be able to “share” (in whatever format) our painful experiences with everyone, I promise you, there is One who welcomes you at anytime to bring your wounded heart and disillusioned expectations, to Him.
Wise words of HOPE
I believe God wants us to be wise in our use of transparent words and sharing.
This is why I say again, “Pray. Ponder. Then, Speak.”
But it is up to us to SPEAK LIFE to a dying world!
Perhaps that is why the Apostle Paul, marries these two principles in the following passage from the First Chapter of First Thessalonians:
So, friends, it’s obvious that our visit to you was no waste of time. We had just been given rough treatment in Philippi, as you know, but that didn’t slow us down. We were sure of ourselves in God, and went right ahead and said our piece, presenting God’s Message to you, defiant of the opposition.
God tested us thoroughly to make sure we were qualified to be trusted with this Message. Be assured that when we speak to you we’re not after crowd approval—only God approval. Since we’ve been put through that battery of tests, you’re guaranteed that both we and the Message are free of error, mixed motives, or hidden agendas. We never used words to butter you up. No one knows that better than you. And God knows we never used words as a smoke screen to take advantage of you. [Vs. 1-5 The Message]
While I agree that not all things need to be shared, I suddenly saw my scars that day, in an entirely new light.
Not just my scars that everyone else can clearly see, but also the ones (for modesty) I keep hidden–the ones that only God and I know are there.
And, it makes me think of an old poem by Amy Carmichael.
Hast Thou No Scar?
Just as suddenly, the Holy Spirit illuminated the word “communion” in a blazing new light.
Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,
I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star,
Hast thou no scar?
Hast thou no wound?
Yet, I was wounded by the archers, spent.
Leaned me against the tree to die, and rent
By ravening beasts that compassed me, I swooned:
Hast thou no wound?
No wound? No scar?
Yet as the Master shall the servant be,
And pierced are the feet that follow Me;
But thine are whole. Can he have followed far
Who has no wound nor scar?
Don’t be afraid to be transparent where God is leading you to speak for Him.
Your life is hidden in Christ. You are in communion with Him.
Tuck yourself into the cleft of the Rock and be bold for God’s glory.
It is true that not everyone will receive your words.
Some will misunderstand. Some may even condemn. But, remember what God said to Jeremiah:
Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.jeremiah 1:8-10